Sina-cism: See the nanny state? Say something!

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One of the feel-good stories of this summer concerns Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton, which was facing catastrophe when the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission suddenly began enforcing a Prohibition-era law.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

After years of routine renewals, winery owner Rich Pelletier was told he could either renew his farmer’s manufacturing licenses or his restaurant pouring license, but not both.

To appreciate how ridiculous this is, consider Nashoba Valley Winery’s history: Man buys old farmhouse, orchard and winery. Builds thriving business. Creates dozens of jobs. Preserves the landscape. Produces a great product. Opens a restaurant.

To get there, Pelletier obtained three licenses for making his wine and a fourth to serve it in his restaurant. All was well until someone at the ABCC read the legal fine print and decided that making the stuff and pouring the stuff is illegal, unless it’s done in the same premises, and that the short distance between brewery and restaurant didn’t qualify.

When a well-known -- and well-heeled -- small business needed help, it got it from the state. When an established Worcester business needed help, it got the shaft from city councilors. Wonder why?

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When a well-known — and well-heeled — small business needed help, it got it from the state. But it was government that messed things up in the first place …

This was so silly that even Gov. Charlie Baker got involved, and it soon appeared that the ABCC, state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, and Attorney General Maura Healey were collaborating to resolve the matter in Nashoba’s favor.

Let’s hope so. But let’s also recognize the fundamental problem: Our state government is too large, too involved in our lives, and too prone to the arbitrary and capricious exercise of power.

More Sina-cism from Chris Sinacola:

Reshma Saujani, founder and president of Girls Who Code, was an honoree and speaker at WPI graduation May 14. Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit that aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science.

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Reshma Saujani, founder and president of Girls Who Code

In Dudley, Muslims need not apply

A computer science ‘gap’ that doesn’t exist

Enter the trigger-man, guns blazing

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